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The best places to visit in Manali that will rejuvenate you

Hidimba Devi Temple

One of the resort towns in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which is famous as a backpacking and honeymoon destination, Manali is also the gateway for winter and summer adventure sports in Solang Valley. Always full of tourists, do not let this dissuade you from visiting Manali. However, like most hill stations, there is more to the town than just adventure. Take your pick – religious tourism, adventure tourism, wildlife tourism – whatever it is that you’re searching for or you want everything combined in one trip, Manali will give you all this and more.

The best season to visit Manali is in winter between November and February. Let us look at some of the best tourist places in Manali.

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15 Best Places to visit in Manali

  1. Hidimba Devi Temple
  2. Solang Valley
  3. Jogni Waterfalls
  4. Old Manali
  5. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art
  6. Tibetan Monastery
  7. Nehru Kund
  8. Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
  9. Rohtang Pass Manali
  10. Kothi
  11. Beas Kund Trek
  12. Vashisht Baths
  13. Chandratal Baralacha Trek
  14. Great Himalayan National Park
  15. Hampta Pass Trek
  16. Chandrakhani Pass and the Parvati Valley
  17. Manu Temple
  18. Eating and shopping places

1. Hidimba Devi Temple

One of the most popular places in any Manali sightseeing itinerary is the Hidimba Devi Temple, a temple dedicated to Hidimba, wife of Bhima from Mahabharata. The temple is supposed to be more than 400 years old and is one of the most famous places in Manali.

Surrounded by beautiful Cedar forests at its foothills, it is built on a large rock that protrudes from the ground. The architecture consists of beautifully carved wood and stonework,which are reminiscent of the Japanese pagodas.

About seventy metres from the temple lies a temple dedicated to the child of Bhima and Hidimba, Ghatokacha.

Timing: 08:00 AM to 07:00 PM.

Entry Fee: None

Photography Allowed or not: Yes

2. Solang Valley 

Solang Valley

Solang Valley is situated at a distance of around 13 kilometres from Manali known for its breath-taking views and is a favourite destination for adventure sports seekers and honeymooners. If you want to be in the lap of nature, there is no better view than the views from Solang. You can get a brilliant view of glaciers, the snow-capped peaks andplains covered in snow and ice. The elevation here is also perfect for skiing and playing in the snow. A guest house of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports is also situated here.  The institute organizes a winter skiing festival every year and there are classes and workshops for tourists and travellers. In summer, activities such as paragliding, horse riding and paragliding take over this area. Trekking and camping packages are a favourite amongst adventurers and fun-seekers.

Distance from Manali: 13 kilometres

Best time to Visit: December to May

Attractions/Activities: Zorbing, Parachuting, Biking, Skiing, Snow Play, Paragliding, Horse Riding

Type of destination: Adventure

3. Jogni Waterfalls

Jogni Waterfalls

If you feel like getting away from the hustle of the town to one of the most remote places of   Manali, then Jogni or JugniFalls is the place to be. The idea is to go to the top of the JogniFalls and see the natural scenery that envelops the entire area. The falls is just 3 kilometres from the main market at Manali and can be reached directly by a vehicle. The route of the trek makes its way through orchards, pine forests and several small streams and lasts for around 20 minutes.

Timing:  Always

Entry Fee: None

Photography Allowed: Yes

4. Old Manali

Want to see another side of the touristy Manali? Head to Manalsu River Bridge and cross to the part of Manali known as Old Manali. The old-world charm of this place will transport you into a bygone era of the 60s. This village has the typical idyllic village vibe with cafes that have names that sound like they popped out of the Hollywood movie set for the Wild West. Some of these exotically named cafes which are worth trying out for their food are – Lazy Dog, Red House Café, Bob Dylan’s Café, Café m 1947 and Pizza Olive. Incidentally, these are some of the most popular among Manali places to visit.

5. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art

Sitting right next to the Hadimba temple, the Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art is a good place to acquaint yourself with the history of this region. It houses religious relics scale models, household objects, weapons and instruments among other things.

Opening hours: 8 am – 8 pm, all days of the week

Entry ticket: INR 10 per person per day

6. Tibetan Monastery

Tibetan Monastery

The GadhanThekchholingGompa popularly known as the ManaliGompa was built by Tibetan refugees in   1960. For visitors looking for a sense of peace and solitude, there is no better place than this. The Buddhist philosophy of non-violence finds its expression in the architecture and the paintings that are inside the monastery. You can pick up some Tibetan handicrafts as souvenirs here.

Timing: 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM

Entry Fee: None

Photography Allowed: Yes

7. Nehru Kund

Nehru Kund so named because PanditJawaharLal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India used to drink water from the spring during his stay in Manali, is a natural cold water spring that attracts a lot of tourists. The source of water in the Nehru Kund is supposed to be the Bhrigu Lake, a lake which is at a height of 4300 meters. Nehru Kund is located on the Leh National Highway.

8. Manali Wildlife Sanctuary

When you’re in the midst of nature can wildlife be too far away? The ManaliWildlife Sanctuary is one of the must-see tourist places in Manali. Animals such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Stripped Hyena, Flying Fox, HimalyanTahr, Barking Deer, palm civet, Himalayan Yellow Throated Martens, and Kashmir Flying Squirrels are some of the animals and birds that can be found here. Precious flora can be also found there with trees such as deodar, horse chestnut, kail, maple and walnut. Land here in with the winter sun shining on you and enjoy the symphony of nature.

9. Rohtang Pass Manali

Rohtang Pass Manali

We have saved the best for the last. Rohtang Pass is a gateway to Lahual and Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh and is pretty as a postcard. This beauty of a pass is located 51 kilometres. away from Manali, at a height of 3980 meters on the ManaliKeylong highway.

Skiing, ice-skating, paragliding and more adventure sports draw people from all parts of the country and abroad to this place.  It has more than 25 lakh visitors every year.  However, a visit to this place requires special permission from the Indian Army as this part of the road is covered in snow throughout the year making travel by road impossible until and unless the area is cleared by the Indian Army. Thus, the RohtangPass is only open from April to October for tourists.

Just near the Pass are the Sonapani glacier and the twin peaks of Gaypan which are famous for the panoramic views and peaceful atmosphere. Some people also visit the source of the Beas River which is a holy site for Hindu people and is easy to get to from the Rohtang Pass.

However, all is not cheery and touristy at Rohtang Pass as the name Rohtang translates into the ominous “ground of corpses”. The name comes due to the number of people who have lost their lives while trying to cross this raw and untamed part of the Himalayas. Also,keep in mind that there is no option to stay at RohtangPass unless you have your tent and set up camp by the roadside. Manali is the best option to stay in and visit. In any case, it is a good idea for overweight people or people with high blood pressure to get a doctor’s recommendation before visiting the place.

10. Kothi

Kothi is a beautiful and photogenic village located at the bottom of Rohtang Pass where tourists can watch the deep gorge where the Beas River thunders along.  This is an amazing place to experience the natural beauty of snow clad mountains. 

11. Beas Kund Trek

The mesmerizing landscapes and the incredible diversity of this place would never fail to impress you on your visit. In spite of being one of the most beautiful tourist places, Manali is also the way to the renowned trek named the Beas Kund Trek. This is quite a popular place amongst the various trekking enthusiasts that brings people away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan. While taking this trek one can feast the eyes with the mesmerizing views of the mighty Pir Panjal Mountains beautifully standing on the river Beas. The beauty of the place makes it worth taking the trek. The place is covered with Bakarthach and Bhundi meadows the views of which are bound to woo you.

Distance From City Centre – 17 kilometres

Require Time To Explore The Place – about 2 days

Visiting Hours – 2 days

Entry Fee – 7600 INR

Activities – Trekking and Hiking

12. Vashisht Baths

All places of worship hold the capability of rejuvenating you in a spiritual way but there are just a few that leave your body refreshed and healthier. Vashisht Baths is a place where you can take a bath into the hot water spring that the place features. Located at a distance of around six kilometres from the main town of Manali the Vashisht Baths is one of the ideal places to see in Manali. This place is a rare combination of the ancient temples made of stones and natural hot water springs. There have been separate bathing zones arranged by the government for both men and women. The natural spring water is said to hold medicinal properties that are said to successfully cure various diseases of the skin.

Distance From City Centre – 1 kilometres

Require Time To Explore The Place – about 1 – 2 hours

Visiting Hours – 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM, every day of the week

Entry Fee – Private bathing costs 35 INR for 30 minutes

Activities – Purchase various religious merchandise and souvenirs from the several shops that surround the region.

13. Chandratal Baralcha Trek

Quite a thrilling experience one can expect to have while trekking at nature’s blessed Chandratal Baralacha Trek. The trek is quite challenging while offering the ideal landscapes in the surroundings. Situated at an elevation of four thousand meters this trekking beauty is one of the highest elevated lakes in the Himalayas. Enjoying the beautiful sunset sight of Spiti Valley’s Samudra Plateau is one of the major attractions of the Chandratal Baralacha Trek. This is one of those Manali tourist places that offer the sight of exotic wildlife, gushing streams, mighty mountains, verdant meadows etc. that one is bound to treasure for a lifetime.

Distance From City Centre – 48 kilometres

Require Time To Explore The Place – about 9 days

Visiting Hours – Depends on your trekking plan that you take

Entry Fee – No entry fee

Activities – Enjoy trekking

14. Great Himalayan National Park

The Great Himalayan National Park is spread over an area of seven hundred and fifty-four square kilometres. It is located at an elevation of around fifteen hundred meters to six thousand meters. Established back in the year 1984, this national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features four valleys namely Parvati Valley, Tirthan Valley, Jiwa Nal Valley, and Sainj Valley. All these four different valleys are renowned for their mesmerizing scenic beauty. This popular national park located in Kullu of Himachal Pradesh is all the way more attractive due to the sheet of Oak and Deodar trees that beautifully cover it.

Distance From City Centre – about 63 kilometres

Require Time To Explore The Place – 3 – 4 hours

Visiting Hours – 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Entry Fee – INR 50 for Indian Nationals, INR 200 for Foreign Nationals, INR 100 for Foreign Students (ID proof might be required), and INR 30 for Indian Students (ID proof might be required)

Activities – You can enjoy photography in this national park

15. Hampta Pass Trek

Hampta Pass is one of the most convenient and fun treks to be experienced while visiting Manali. It is one of those trekking spots in Himachal Pradesh that is laden with picturesque landscapes, dense pine forests, vast meadows, and pristine glacial valleys. If you’re a beginner and want to try hands-on trekking then this place is one of the ideal most. It is quite an easily accessible trek that is quite exhilarating as well. The beginning of the trek is from the town of Manali itself and not any remote region, unlike various other treks. The highlight of the trip is the lake Chandratal that holds a pleasing sight.

Distance From City Centre – 1 kilometres

Require Time To Explore The Place – about 5 days

Visiting Hours – Depends on your convenience but preferred time would be during the day time.

Entry Fee – No entry fee

Activities – Trekking

16. Chandrakhani Pass and the Parvati Valley

The Parvati Valley and the Chandrakhani Pass contribute their share of beauty to the list of tourists while on a trip to Manali. It is a rare paradise of snow, clouds, and wide views of mesmerizing landscapes. Nestled at an elevation of three thousand and six hundred meters the Chandrakhani Pass of the Parvati Valley is one of the favourite spots for all those travellers who seek undisturbed natural beauty. The Chandrakhani Pass is a base for trekking enthusiasts with high risen steel mountains on both sides.

Distance From City Centre – 19 kilometres

Require Time To Explore The Place – about 2 hours

Visiting Hours – no specific visiting hours

Entry Fee – no entry fee

Activities – trekking

17. Manu Temple

The ancient Manu temple is dedicated to Sage Manu. It is nestled in Kullu District’s Beas River Valley. It is almost two hundred and seventy-five kilometres away from Shimla. The topography of the destination is such that it attracts all the various trekking enthusiasts from all across the world. While exploring the location, the calmness and the beauty of the temple are the major highlights.

The brilliant style of architecture extends a glimpse into spirituality and history combined. The structure of the temple if that of a Pagoda. Dedicated to Sage Manu, the name of Manali has also been derived by the name of the Sage. Sage Manu has been believed to be the human race creator since always.

Distance From City Centre – 2 kilometres

Require Time To Explore The Place – about 1 – 2 hours

Visiting Hours – 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry Fee – No entry fee

Activities – Explore the region around

18. Eating and shopping places

Apart from the various adventure sports and outdoor activities such as trekking and camping that you can try out in Manali, the more sedate things to do in Manali are trying out the local food and shopping in Manali.

The mall road area and the Tibetan market are the busiest areas here and home to beautifully crafted wooden handicrafts and embroidered clothes.

The Kashmiri shawls and paper silk printed sarees and dresses are really worth buying. The influence of Tibetan culture is heavily felt on the souvenirs and handicrafts found here.

Local cuisine also has Tibetan and north Indian influences and a must try dish is the local trout fish dishes available here. Old Manali has some pretty cool hangout places for leisurely nothings.

Manali is a beautiful hill station that would give you countless memories to hold on to for years. Also, do enjoy the various adventure activities that the place offers and get the bookings done in advance for the same such that you miss on to none of them owing to rush in the peak seasons.

Happy Holidaying!!!

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